British government to back health?


6:35 pm - February 1st 2013

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by Jenna Smith

The British government has backed national health via the NHS (National Health Service) since 1948 and continues to do so by creating television advertisements on prime time programs, advising the people of Britain to eat healthier. According to an article by the BBC, there is controversy on this advertising campaign, with some people pointing out that the main beneficiaries are in fact, commercial stores that offer the goods presented in the advertisement.

The commercial, part of the Change4Life campaign by the NHS to reduce the annual £5bn expense caused by obesity in the UK, shows characters made by Aardman (Creators of the Wallace and Gromit characters) changing their lifestyles in positive and healthier manners. Some critics are still sceptical that big time companies will merely use this as an excuse to exploit marketing of healthier foods in their favour.

Spending government funds for potentially, a commercial increase for privately owned businesses has raised questions as to whether the money should be spent on different projects to help the government. Potential draw backs of this campaign is that consumers may ignore it, and that stores will not participate in the scheme, as this is a voluntary set up.

This means that companies that would prefer to make a bigger profit margin with less healthy foods can continue the practice, and healthy food will in turn, be more expensive, as mentioned by Jeanette Longfield, a children’s food campaigner, “Good companies continue to do good things while bad companies continue doing bad things, and no one can stop them. What we really need is a legal level playing field so all companies have to do the right thing, for example, stop targeting children with marketing for junk food.”

However, overall, the positives are increasingly becoming a reality, over 1 million mothers have changed their lifestyle through the Change4Life scheme, which in turn has helped their children to live healthier.

This has also lead to an increase in consumer demand for health products, such as exercise equipment sold online at stores such as Fitness Superstore, or clothes that help our body function naturally in today’s world found at sites such as Rejuva Health. Companies such as these have increased their business in correlation with the Change4Life’s successful campaign.

So is the government backing the Change4Life scheme a good idea? Sure, it sinks in a lot of the taxpayers money, and there is no guarantee that it will work. However, something to remember is that this campaign will decrease the government funding in other areas, such as the NHS’ £5bn a year spent on helping people with obesity (by everette devan). Short term, this scheme will be risky for the government of the UK, however, the long term affects could easily over rule these early on possible drawbacks.

As Catherine Collins, principle dietician of St Georges hospital, London mentions, “As long as food manufacturers don’t exploit the ‘health halo’ effect of the targeted healthy products to encourage sales of less healthy foods and drink, it’s a win-win situation for both public and producers.”


Jenna is a freelance writer who most often writes about personal finance, business, and sometimes politics. She writes more at paidtwice.com.
Consideration was received for the editing and publishing of this article

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Reader comments


“Consideration was received for the editing and publishing of this article”

What does that mean?

“Consideration was received for the editing and publishing of this article”

What does that mean?

It means somebody took money to publish a dodgy advertorial without indicating it as such.


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